Showing posts with label russell tovey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label russell tovey. Show all posts

16 February 2013

Tower Block DVD Review

No comments: Links to this post

British cinema seems to have a dangerous love affair with the unpretentious high rise flat or sometimes known as the tower block. From Attack The Block, Dredd (a British creation), even The Raid (Indonesian directed by a Welshman) and now Tower Block a British thriller that sees residents of high rise flats find themselves targets of a pissed off sniper. The worrying thing is for myself should I be worried writing this review as I'm currently writing it in.....Tower Block?!!

Set in inner city London the last remaining residents of the condemned tower block Serenity House huddled together on the top floor living in fear, not from the prospect of not having a roof of their heads soon but in fear of a ruthless sniper. What does this  sniper seek? Retribution, revenge on those who did not aide the young man brutally murdered as the neighbours listened in fear as Becky (Sheridan Smith) attempted to help but find herself beaten up as a result.

The simple plot style of 'Us versus them' actually does work well here but also works against Tower Block. Keeping the identity of who the mysterious sniper is and why there doing what their doing does help create a real sense of tension and things do get more visceral when the first bullets get fired. Death is delivered with brutal swift precision delivering fear throughout the floor forcing those who ducked and dived fortunate to get themselves into the block's corridor. But this sniper means business trapping the residents as all the stairways out have been booby trapped. Despite been a positive the lack of possible suspects  actually works against the film as when the big reveal on who the sniper is becomes a bit of a damp squib, disappointment, their motives are which is a shame after a decent build up.

After making it's cinematic premier at last summers Film4 London Frightfest it's left some believing Tower Block it's actually a horror when in fact it's really a social urban thriller. From the bleak grim surroundings of a deprived area (delivered masterfully in the film's cinematography) to the film's maybe predictable but also stereotypical of many British Suburban areas, the 'broken Britain' . This is the Britain that the Conservative government pretends to say it's helping when actually what they are doing is destroying it piece by piece like the mysterious sniper killing the character bullet by bullet. Every character Symbolises one of the many issues that plight working class families everyday lives but in the film your left wondering should I really hate them or  sympathetic towards them?

The cast or most of them actually deliver a decent performance helping to keep the film interesting however by the time we get to know them all you've actually guessed their predictable fate. Sheridan Smith is our heroine Becky who despite her problems to convey out and out emotions actually delivers one of her better performances. She becomes the survivors leader keeping everyone as sane as possible as she thinks a logical way to escape, using that strength we see at the beginning. Jack O'Connell is great as the scumbag Curtis who is forced to grow up quickly and actually provide that 'protection' the residents 'pay him' to do. Since  I saw him play a young Bobby Charlton in last years United BBC drama I've had an appreciation for him he has made some questionable/generic film choices but he does show he has the acting chops with his diverse range of characters. As for the rest of the characters we don't really learn enough about them to show empathy or sympathy towards them other than they might be next for a bullet to the head.

Let's make one thing clear here on High rise flats or tower blocks, the past decade they have become the symbol of refuge for junkies, alcoholics and pensioners which is totally false. Some do live up to the reputation and like the one I live in, it's not a affulent area nor is it in a deprived area good people do live in these blocks.So if you can push aside the films predictable flaws, Tower Block does actually deliver an intense, brutal silly but entertaining yarn. An intriguing   little timewaster that uses its very limited budget constraints to deliver a film something that's actually worth a watch , most of all you will be supporting the British film industry.

Paul Devine

★★★☆☆

Rating:15
DVD/BD Release Date: 18th February 2013 (UK)
Director ,
Cast;
Buy:Blu-ray / DVD
Win: Tower Block on DVD (link to The People's Movies post)

23 August 2012

Frightfest 2012:Grabbers Review

No comments: Links to this post
★★★1/2☆ Jon Wright's Irish set horror, Grabbers, feels like a welcome return to the days of the 1980s creature features laced with comedy. So far, it is also the most entertaining horror film of this years' Edinburgh International Film Festival. After several dead whales wash up on the shores of Erin Island, Garda Officers Ciarán O'Shea (Richard Coyle) and Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley) are set on the case. They soon discover the presence of blood-sucking, tentacled aliens  on the island, promptly named "grabbers". However, it soon becomes clear that these creatures have an aversion to alcohol - so let the drinking ensue! Part of the joy of Grabbers, is that it never takes itself too seriously, balancing both comedic and horror elements single handedly. It replicates the effortless whimsical charm of timeless monster features like Gremlins, Tremors and Critters - ensuring this is a fun watch from start to finish. Even the basic premise of Grabbers gives you an insight into the cheeky nature of the film - who doesn't want to see a town of drunks battle against aliens? Grabbers may be fun, but it does not skimp on the darker horror elements. There are plenty of unexpected jumps and scares spread throughout - something that many other of Festival's horror films have been lacking. Wright's uses the eerily isolated Irish coastline for numerous creepy set pieces, from an attack on the beach to a country house invasion. There are also a variety of sweeping aerial shots capturing the picturesque qualities of the Irish setting. Many a horror film has been let down by the eventual unveiling of its antagonist. Sometimes not seeing the source of the terror is far scarier than what is actually presented. However, the creature effects team behind the monsters in Grabbers, ensure that this is not the case. These are convincing, nasty looking monsters that are just as sinister on screen as they are when out of shot. Grabbers also boasts a strong cast of excellent British character actors in well-written and engaging roles. Richard Coyle, who excelled in this year's Pusher remake, brings a truly endearing performance to Grabbers, whilst also proving to be equally talented whilst handling more comedic elements. The relationship between his slack, heavy drinking Garda officer and Ruth Bradley's straight-laced, young recruit, provides some welcome laughs. Bradley shows a wonderful sense of comic talent in Lisa Nolan's transformation from loveable prude to an even more loveable drunk - she is completely terrific throughout. Russell Tovey pops up for a smaller supporting role which provides a few laughs, but as good an actor as he is, the role is more annoying than entertaining. A hilarious supporting cast continue Grabbers' charm offensive from Pascal Scott's turn as the town's cheeky GP to David Pearse and the excellent Bronagh Gallagher as the quaint local pub landlords. Grabbers is a thoroughly enjoyable return to classic creature feature horror/comedy. Atmospheric direction, a perfectly comic screenplay and charming performances help Grabbers stand out from the rest of the festival's horror pictures. It is great fun.

Andrew McArthur

Stars: Richard CoyleRuth Bradley, Russell Tovey Director: Jon Wright Release: 23rd August 2012 (Frightfest)

16 July 2012

Irish Creature Feature GRABBERS Gets full Trailer!

No comments: Links to this post























When it comes to Irish films they seem to be a little stereotypical, lots of booze and comedy but would you include Creature features? No but now you can as the full trailer for Jon Wright's GRABBERS. 

The film made it's U.K debut back in June at this years Edinburgh Film Festival (world premier Sundance) and left with some really positive reviews but now the film has 2 important dates coming up next month, it's Irish cinema release and a second U.K appearance this time at the mighty Film4 Frightfest (the 13th). Starring Richard Coyle, Russell Tovey and Ruth Bradley, the film is been described as 'Father Ted meets Aliens' even 'The Guard meets Tremors' with those quotes you can see why people are buzzing about this comedy horror. You could say this is Ireland's homage to HP Lovecraft with a big doze of Irish hospitality and laughs with Tremors invited along.

We caught the film at Edinburgh Film Festival , read our review and check out the films new poster  below. No UK or USA release dates, August 10th will be the official Irish release date and on August 23rd the film will appear at Film4 Frightfest.

Grabbers Official Trailer #1 (2012) HD Movie Published via LongTail.tv

Something sinister has come to the shores of Erin Island, unbeknownst to the quaint population of this sleepy fishing village resting somewhere off Ireland’s coast. First, some fishermen go missing. Then there is the rash of whale carcasses suddenly washing up on the beach. When the murders start, it’s up to two mismatched cops–an irresponsible alcoholic and his new partner, a by-the-book woman from the mainland–to protect the townsfolk from the giant, bloodsucking, tentacled aliens that prey upon them. Their only weapon, they discover, is booze. If they want to survive the creatures’ onslaught, everyone will have to get very, very drunk!

25 June 2012

EIFF 2012: Grabbers Review

No comments: Links to this post
★★★1/2☆
Jon Wright's Irish set horror, Grabbers, feels like a welcome return to the days of the 1980s creature features laced with comedy. So far, it is also the most entertaining horror film of this years' Edinburgh International Film Festival.

After several dead whales wash up on the shores of Erin Island, Garda Officers Ciarán O'Shea (Richard Coyle) and Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley) are set on the case. They soon discover the presence of blood-sucking, tentacled aliens  on the island, promptly named "grabbers". However, it soon becomes clear that these creatures have an aversion to alcohol - so let the drinking ensue!

Part of the joy of Grabbers, is that it never takes itself too seriously, balancing both comedic and horror elements single handedly. It replicates the effortless whimsical charm of timeless monster features like Gremlins, Tremors and Critters - ensuring this is a fun watch from start to finish. Even the basic premise of Grabbers gives you an insight into the cheeky nature of the film - who doesn't want to see a town of drunks battle against aliens?

Grabbers may be fun, but it does not skimp on the darker horror elements. There are plenty of unexpected jumps and scares spread throughout - something that many other of Festival's horror films have been lacking. Wright's uses the eerily isolated Irish coastline for numerous creepy set pieces, from an attack on the beach to a country house invasion. There are also a variety of sweeping aerial shots capturing the picturesque qualities of the Irish setting.

Many a horror film has been let down by the eventual unveiling of its antagonist. Sometimes not seeing the source of the terror is far scarier than what is actually presented. However, the creature effects team behind the monsters in Grabbers, ensure that this is not the case. These are convincing, nasty looking monsters that are just as sinister on screen as they are when out of shot.

Grabbers also boasts a strong cast of excellent British character actors in well-written and engaging roles. Richard Coyle, who excelled in this year's Pusher remake, brings a truly endearing performance to Grabbers, whilst also proving to be equally talented whilst handling more comedic elements. The relationship between his slack, heavy drinking Garda officer and Ruth Bradley's straight-laced, young recruit, provides some welcome laughs. Bradley shows a wonderful sense of comic talent in Lisa Nolan's transformation from loveable prude to an even more loveable drunk - she is completely terrific throughout. Russell Tovey pops up for a smaller supporting role which provides a few laughs, but as good an actor as he is, the role is more annoying than entertaining.

A hilarious supporting cast continue Grabbers' charm offensive from Pascal Scott's turn as the town's cheeky GP to David Pearse and the excellent Bronagh Gallagher as the quaint local pub landlords.
Grabbers is a thoroughly enjoyable return to classic creature feature horror/comedy. Atmospheric direction, a perfectly comic screenplay and charming performances help Grabbers stand out from the rest of the festival's horror pictures. It is great fun.

Andrew McArthur


Stars: Richard CoyleRuth Bradley, Russell Tovey
Director: Jon Wright
Release: 25th June 2012(EIFF)

Grabbers trailer clip-2012-HD.mp4 Published via LongTail.tv